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DirtyBurger in Plainview: First bites

The original DirtyBurger with dirty fries at DirtyBurger

The original DirtyBurger with dirty fries at DirtyBurger in Plainview. (December 2013) Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick

Messy eating is part of the fun at the new DirtyBurger, which takes over the former Cheeburger Cheeburger space in the same Plainview shopping center as Fairway.

The simply but cheerfully decorated spot, with its enthusiastic crew, specializes not only in dirty burgers but all kinds of “dirtified” items. Chef Ian Russo dips the burger (or other protein) into “dirty dust,” a blend containing cayenne pepper. After grilling, a bit of honey adds sweetness to mitigate the heat.

Dirty wings ($8.95), deep fried and tossed with either dirty dust or a dirty barbecue sauce, came out crisp and subtly spicy — both ways. Hard to say which way was better; both outdid most conventional wing treatments I’ve come across. And an appetizer of dirty PIB, or pigs in blankets ($7.95), were wrapped in dough, baked and dusted with the dirty spice mixture. Irresistible.

I was less enamored of the eponymous dirty burger, a saucy affair which I was told could not be ordered rare. Medium-rare, here, registered more like medium. But “sweet and salty” dirty ribs ($15.95) were tender and delectable — slow-cooked, hoisin-lacquered and finished with a sprinkling of feta. Don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it.

Dirty hand-cut fries were very good, dirty sweet potato fries even better. And a dirty chocolate milk shake, with the signature spice mixture blended in, tasted more or less like a regular chocolate milk shake.

DirtyBurger is at 12 Manetto Hill Rd., Plainview, 516-59-7399,

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